A 'call to action' for Government to accelerate delivery of infrastructure in the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge growth corridor has been unveiled by England's Economic Heartland.
The five 'asks', published ahead of the Autumn Budget, would accelerate delivery of strategic infrastructure to support growth, while giving confidence to residents and investors that schemes will be built on time and to budget.
Government is asked to:
- Commit to developing a geographically-specific National Policy Statement for strategic infrastructure in the Heartland
- Establish a 'major scheme development fund' to support local authorities develop business cases for the investment pipeline
- Provide an 'indicative funding envelope' to be used in the prioritisation of investment proposals
- Joint commissioning with Government of strategic studies to accelerate delivery of strategic infrastructure
- Make commitments to deliver six strategic infrastructure priorities for the Heartland.
England's Economic Heartland chairman Cllr Martin Tett said: "The Heartland has the potential to treble the size of its economy, but its success to date has come at a price, with infrastructure that is often at capacity. If we are to realise this huge opportunity for UK Plc, rhetoric needs to be turned into reality – and that's what this call to action is all about.
"England's Economic Heartland shares the Government's ambition for the corridor, but this will require a sustained, co-ordinated programme of investment in strategic infrastructure. What we are proposing are some very practical measures which if acted upon would give residents, businesses and inward investors the confidence that infrastructure will be delivered in the right places and at the right time - supporting new jobs and housing, while also benefiting existing communities."
The six infrastructure priorities for Government outlined in the Call to Action are:
- Installation of fibre/ 5G cable along the East West Rail Western Section
- Make it a national priority for Network Rail to find a long-term solution to the issue at the London Road level-crossing in Bicester
- To commit to using East West Rail and HS2 as the opportunity for a new north-south passenger service from Northampton to Old Oak Common
- To apply the same level of ministerial commitment to delivering the A428 Black Cat-Caxton Gibbet scheme as has been shown for East West Rail
- A commitment to fund the development and delivery of the A1 (M) corridor improvements
- To deliver Cambridge South Station within the next three years
See our dedicated webpage
Five Asks - Budget Call to Action.pdf